Jumping into Tak felt like but a milestone in what seemed to be an unending journey to the truth. A beacon lit up in space, a bracket around my destination in my mind. I quickly warp to the agent I was sent to meet, and land next to an Iteron V floating in space. It didn't even flinch as a Battlecruiser was suddenly looming over it. I opened comms with the pilot.
"Tevis Jak, this is Sain Darkwing. I was sent by Sister Alitura to speak with you about the Damsel and your involvement." I say, my thoughts transmitting as an audio signal to the man. He replied promptly.
"Yeah, I picked up the crew that outlived that explosion – pretty
massive, whatever it was. I'll see if I can track down the facilities
they were sent to if you can do me a favor. A bunch of pirates have been
scavenging the explosion site. Go and take them out for me. It
shouldn't be too much trouble for a capsuleer, and you might even find
some extra information. Hell, you can probably get it done in the time
I'll need to look up the rest of this data. Damn legacy systems..." He cursed.
"Sure thing." I replied. Another thought loaded all of my HAM launchers with Scourge missiles, I could almost feel the crew inside the ship working like a well oiled machine to replace the charges in the reloading mechanistic from the cargo bay. With that, I warped off to jump to Manarq, then to the co-ordinates he specified.
I was immediately targeted and fired upon by Corpii worshiper pirates, although I'm not sure what they were trying to accomplish. They did minimal damage to my shields and one missile each was enough to take them out. I didn't even launch drones. After reinforcements arrived, they were dispatched just as quickly, and I'm assuming they didn't expect to go against a Drake. As they last one exploded, a cargo can was thrown from the wreckage and Tevis' voice came on comms.
"My sensors are picking up a strange bit of tech that just dropped in that can. Open the can, take the item, and bring it to me." He advised. He must have tied his sensors through mine, being in a different system and all. I didn't mind, but again, it was sneaky. I opened the can and transported the 'Strange Datacore' aboard, then warped off to meet again with my agent.
Once I landed on the Iteron once again, I opened the communications channel as I transported the datacore to him.
"Here's your ,um, thing." I said.
"Thanks." He replied, "I didn't expect you to be so fast with it."
"Did you even look to see what I was flying?" I ask. One of my camera drones see the agent's face in a porthole and he recoiled, obviously too busy to have checked before, which explains the lack of response when I first arrived.
"A bit overkill, don't you think?" he asked.
"Yeah, there was a misunderstanding with the initial request." I say.
"Anyway, I found your first guy, but it looks like he's already shipped
out again. What a fighter, huh? He's down in the crew manifest as "Red",
and his convoy has him listed under the same handle, so there you go.
I'm giving you coordinates to intercept the convoy now. You should be
able to catch them before they get too far. Go quick, though: I'm
worried that they don't have enough security to deal with the number of
'rats – sorry, pirates – where they're headed. They might need your
"I'm on my way." Again I see the face in the porthole as I turned and warped off.
Still in the same system, I warp into the deadspace pocket and once again instantly destroy the Corpii Follower Pirates and again a cargo container is flung into open space. Wasn't there supposed to be a convoy here? Had these pirates already destroyed them? I retrieve the cargo container and find "Red" inside, not even in a body bag and exposed to space for quite some time. The body is placed in my cargo hold and I advise nearby crew to leave the body alone. I warp back to Tevis to advise him of our first attempt.
"Dead, is he? Figures. I'll keep the investigation open, but unless something changes there's little CONCORD can do."
They were at a dead end as well. To find out what happened to the Damsel, the survivors would need to be questioned. So far, we're not off to a good start. There was a silence on comms for a moment before Tevis spoke up.
"Just got a message from Sister Alitura. I sent her that weird
datacore you found at the site. She says they weren't able to decipher
it. Pity. Still, she's very interested in consulting with you. So go do
what she wishes. The Sisters are good people." he said.
"Yes. I'd assume so. Thanks for your help, Tevis." I replied and headed back to see Sister Alitura.